Life has Changed
In a matter of three weeks, life has changed. What was normal days ago is gone, and we find ourselves navigating an unfamiliar world. Stay at home, stand back, virtually gather, work from home are all standard orders.
While it is overwhelming, much of the other life seems small. What I perceived as a challenge last month is forgotten. Even the crazy snow totals of February are left behind. The frustrations, arguments, disagreements, ups, and downs- all gone. I couldn’t tell you one issue if I wanted to.
As I move through today, I find myself not knowing the day of the week, or the time. I see a sunrise and a sunset with more enthusiasm and hope. (This isn’t new for me.) I hear the birds chirping, and it sounds like a professional chorus to my ears. Yesterday, I noticed the grass is turning green. Thank you for that snow of February.
The earth has always left me in awe, but now it is emphasized by the uncertainty of the times. I find myself curious about the future. This storm will eventually pass. My doubt in humans will not. The ability to make wiser decisions seems to elude some.
It all began with a cultural norm for one society, a mistake made time and again. In this tragedy, it turned into a pandemic. They have known the risk, but money outweighed the fear, and here we are. Maybe people don’t want to talk about it. I’m not one of them. Hidden truths only bring us devastating consequences.
The Impact of a Pandemic
At the time of writing this, 28,269 people have died. There are over 600,000 positive cases of Covid-19 in 199 countries. My country surpasses all others in cases by almost 20,000. While other countries hunkered down, spring break filled beaches, mountain slopes, and parks all across the nation.
Was it ego or selfishness that led people to ignore the facts? Conspiracy theorists spent too much time looking for some other answer, and many refused to be stopped by ‘fear.’ It was never about fear, my friend.
Early on, we heard the high risk to the vulnerable patient- elderly and those with underlying conditions, yet, life went on like a vacation for young and old. There was little regard for these folks, because they heard the majority of people only deal with mild symptoms, like a common cold.
Our hospitals have seen people of all ages in critical condition. We have a significant lack of protective equipment, and with industries shut down, employees are nervous about next month’s rent. When do we return to work? Are fines forthcoming for not staying home? There are more questions than answers, and a lot of time to ponder.
Most of the infected patients recover. All around the world, we hear story after story of recovery. They inspire hope for tomorrow. However, there are those stories of men and women dying alone in hospitals. You can listen to one such story here. Family members are not allowed into the facility, and it breaks my heart. If those stories don’t emphasize the need to take this seriously, I don’t know what will. You have to be heartless not to heed the warnings.
Most Americans have spent decades in comfort. We enjoy freedoms others around the world never experience. I do not fear this pandemic; what happens, happens. I know my final destination when I leave this earth. But I do fear the arrogance and selfishness of society. Please understand, I have seen the greatness of the American way shine in this dark time. We have banded together to care for one another. It is beautiful. However..
It is the few that chose self over being cautious that worries me. It could be how we impact others was confusing. Maybe the fact that the virus was brand new to humans was not understood. Perhaps they heard, “it is a cold or asymptomatic for most people’, and decided that it wasn’t a big deal. What is asymptomatic for one became critical condition to another, leading to life or death for many.
I pray this will slow us down. When the virus peaks and we find ourselves on the other side, I hope we remember the lives lost, and what we did right and wrong. Self-reflection is crucial to moving forward. We can’t just evaluate the response of the government, but must consider our approach in being part of a community in need. What reaction did we bring in the face of unknown circumstances? Attitude reflects leadership in most cases; what I witness now doesn’t follow that silent rule.
There is hope. For all the uncertainties of today, never give up on the future. We are now a humbled world, and I believe that we will be stronger at the end. Respect life, give generously, and help one another. This world draws us away from the basics, and it’s time to push back.
We must look past the confines of our little boxes, and move forward for the greater good. I firmly believe we can!